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Chang, S-h (2013) Evaluating essential liabilities on design professionals under earthquake’s impact: Taiwan experience. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 20(02), 181-94.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: building services; construction management; earthquakes; liability; structural design; Taiwan
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0969-9988
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/09699981311303035
  • Abstract:
    Purpose – There are few papers which deal with professional liability for buildings when architects and engineers (AEs) face disaster risks. The purpose of this paper is to find out the main legal risks for practitioners. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses t-tests and ANOVA to investigate the impacts of earthquake on four areas: the number of architects or engineers who were sued; the time to appeal cases; the conviction rate in final judgments; and the number of public or private projects filed. Findings – The results show that design professionals have a high burden of legal liability risks that were substantially increased by the Chichi earthquake. The following risks have significant impact: architects are burdened with higher civil liability than engineers; civil liability cases are more complicated; criminal cases have high conviction rates; and more liability cases are filed for private projects. Research limitations/implications – The following phenomena are worth further examination: the influenced of collectivism on AE defendants’ behaviour; and the legal tactics of plaintiffs in civil litigation, who may file parallel criminal liability cases to increase their compensation. Practical implications – This paper contributes to the evidence of the kinds of liability which have high legal risks in practice, thus evaluating legal costs accurately in contractual negotiation. Originality/value – It enriches AEs’ continuing education and engineering programs by strengthening the teaching materials on legal liability risks under earthquake attack.